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Thursday, May 6, 2021

The number of tourists visiting Orlando fell by more than half in 2020, per report

Posted By on Thu, May 6, 2021 at 11:04 AM

  • Photo courtesy City of Orlando

As much as we might hate it, tourism is the lifeblood of Orlando.

Walt Disney's decision to build a castle in the swamp morphed Orlando from a military town of 50,000 to the car-choked mess it is today. Even if they're clogging our arteries, a situation where they are completely gone would be disastrous.

We came as close to finding out what a tourist-less Orlando might be like as possible in 2020. According to a new report from Visit Orlando, the city's tourist count fell to 35.3 million visitors. That's a 53% drop off from 2019, and the lowest total in over 20 years.

“These numbers represent a devastating impact to our local economy, local businesses, to our friends, to our neighbors and colleagues,” Visit Orlando CEO Cassandra Matej said during a presentation of the findings. “That is why the main focus for Visit Orlando is all about recovery, recovery, recovery.”

2019 was a record year for tourism in the state of Florida. Over 133.7 million people came to the state for vacation in the last full year before the coronavirus pandemic. The state's tourism arm is slowly, steadily attempting to lure those visitors back as parks and attractions roll back restrictions. 

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